There are around 70 members of staff, working together cohesively, with everyone's contribution valued. The atmosphere is friendly, informal and efficient. The Unit has a five-year rolling contract, currently running to 2018, with the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates.
This contract gives the Unit responsibility for the following general remit:
- to study or evaluate clinical activities with a view to improving effectiveness and efficiency in health care;
- to work for the implementation of proven changes in clinical activities;
- to encourage and support similar work throughout Scotland;
- to build capacity in health services research through training and other development activities.
In pursuit of this remit, the Unit has established an internationally recognised portfolio of health services research focusing on two main programmes; Health Care Assessment and Improving Experiences of Care. An innovative programme of methodological research underpins this substantive portfolio of research. Much of the work is done in collaboration with the Centre for Healthcare Randomised Trials (CHaRT) which is located within the Unit. The Unit's work is characterised by being collaborative and multidisciplinary. This involves a range of national and international partners.
Individual research projects are undertaken by project-attached staff funded by competitive grants; all involve collaboration with people from outside the Unit. The Unit also contributes to health services research training at four levels - undergraduate, postgraduate, professional and continuing.